It seems like every time an NFL player becomes a Free Agent, fans start demanding said player for the Denver Broncos. It’s like the flavor of the week. Last week it was DeSean Jackson, a troubled, diminutive Wide Receiver. This week it’s one of the seven Running Backs to rush for 2,000 yards in a single season. That’s right. Chris Johnson, or CJ2K.
Johnson was recently released from the Tennessee Titans because of his extensive salary and basically, the failure to live up to those dollar figures in performance. CJ was set to draw an $8 Million salary this season with an additional $2 Million Cap Hit for his Pro-rated Signing Bonus on the 4-year, $53.975 Million contract he signed in 2011. His release will save the Titans $4 Million. The other $4 Million will count as dead money on the team’s Salary Cap.
It has been speculated that Chris should get a 2-year deal worth $4 Million per and that he’ll make a decision on which of the suitors, reportedly the Jets, Falcons, Bills and Dolphins, he will sign with. However, teams haven’t exactly been beating his door down to sign him. His former coach, Jeff Fisher doesn’t have any interest in signing the 1st round draft pick from 2008. That leads me to believe either Fisher has issues with Johnson’s work ethic or (more likely) the market has fallen so much, that starting Running Backs aren’t worth more than $3.5 Million a year.
It’s true that CJ held out of Training Camp in 2009, the year after rushing for 2,006 yards and an additional 503 receiving yards. He also has been upset with the Titans Offensive philosophy.
“I feel like if they are not going to use me the way I am supposed to be used and let me be the horse, then I would rather them let me move on. Their money would be wasted on me. I feel like if they are not going to use me right, let somebody get me that’s going to use me the right way.”
Johnson wants the ball. He wants to be THE Feature of his team’s Offense. While wanting the ball can be a good thing, it can also be a bad thing. CJ has ran for at least 1,000 yards in each of his six seasons, but last years 3.9 yard average was mediocre at best. He also lacks the burst he had early in his career. At the point of a player becoming ineffective, wanting the ball becomes selfish and egotistical.
It isn’t about the money with the Broncos. If they wanted CJ2K, they could maneuver enough to obtain him. It could be that those same reasons why Jeff Fisher won’t pursue him are the same reasons why John Elway won’t. The Rams head coach and the Broncos VP/GM are good friends.
The bigger reasons why the Broncos won’t chase down Chris Johnson are, Peyton Manning is the feature of the Broncos Offense. $20 Million says so. The Broncos have already stated that they have full confidence in Montee Ball as their starting Running Back. If you recall, he was on a fast track cram session from his arrival at Dove Valley last summer. The coaching staff threw everything Montee could handle and more at the rookie and you could see that the light went on and the game slowed down for him by the end of the season, allowing him to relax and let his instincts take over.
The final kicker is this:
If Peyton Manning was uncomfortable with having Montee Ball as the starting Running Back for the Broncos on Opening Day of the 2014 NFL season, don’t you think John Elway would do something about it?
Yeah, that’s what I thought. The Denver Broncos don’t need CJ2K…and by the same token, he doesn’t need Denver.
– Kaptain Kirk